One Year After The Tsunami: A Report from Tohoku by Washington College Students Preston Hildebrand Kathleen Pattie April 11, 2012 Kimberly Pittman Gabrielle Tarbert 10:30-12:00 PMGroup photo take n at the Yasukuni Shrine on March 12, 2012.
Overview of Our Trip Experiencing culture Meeting with government officials Making new Japanese friends Volunteer work in Miyagi Prefecture
Experiencing Culture in Japan
Meeting with Government OfficialsStudents met briefly with Shinjiro Koizumi, a member of the Japanese Parliament and member of the LDPduring their tour of the Japanese Diet Building.
Touring the Japanese DietAbove: The Japanese Diet Building from theoutside.Right: One of the large chamber rooms whereparliamentary meetings are held.
Miyagi Prefectural GovernmentStudents visited the Miyagi Prefectural Government Building in Sendai. They flew the U.S. flag outside to honor our visit.
Making New FriendsKeio University Student Daiki Matsumara, Washington College Students Gabby Tarbert, Nicholas Hall and Ceira Jessamy
Evening with Keio University StudentsAbove: Washington College students RachelDumbolton and Erin Famularo with KeioUniversity Students.Right: WC Student Preston Hildebrandenjoying spending time with a KeioUniversity Student.
Volunteering in the Miyagi Prefecture Below: Washington College students work alongside villagers in Murohama to help clean up a shrine.Above: Some of the damage from the tsunami seenin the Miyagi Prefecture.
The Disaster in the News: A Year AgoWhen the March 11th disasters hit, we were in all corners of the world: South Africa, China and the United States.
The Global Focus?Photo Credit:http://www.chinasmack.com/2011/stories/2011-japan-sendai-earthquake-chinese-netizen-reactions.html
On the Eve of Adventure: Thoughts before the TripAbove: A photo taken in the village of Murohama. Formerly arice paddy, the tsunami flooded the area. The harbor is beingused again, but the rice paddy has been destroyed.Right: The newly constructed Tokyo Sky Tree will bring crucialtourism to Sumida, Tokyo. The SkyTree is the tallestfreestanding tower in the world, standing at 634 meters.
Washington College Students: Dedicated to Volunteering35 students traveled to Columbus, GA to volunteer with Members of the Washington College Chapter of StudentsHabitat for Humanity during spring break. WC has been Helping Honduras traveled to Honduras in January 2012.sending a student group to Georgia for several years now and SHH engages in various fundraising activities throughoutparticipates in volunteer work in the Chestertown area during the year and sends volunteer groups to Honduras duringthe school year. breaks.
Visiting The Japan FoundationStudents met with members of the Japan Foundation in Tokyo. Pictured above is Dr. Oros, Cowles Gaither, PrestonHildebrand, Gabby Tarbert, Rachel Dumbolton and Caitie Dailey.
Meeting with Miyagi Government Officials Disaster Recovery Plan •Building communities strong against disasters in which people can live with peace of mind •Recovery focusing individual citizens as the core •Not simply recovery but drastic restructuring •Recovery focusing on individual citizens as the core •Forward looking community building that solves issues of modern society
Governmental Plan for the FutureAbove: A street in Sendai City, which houses the capital of theMiyagi Prefecture.Right: A road in the village of Murohama.
Higashi Matsushima Library Left: Professor Narita and Dr. Oros proudly add Washington College to a long list of those who have made donations to the library. Above: Our group poses with a bulletin created by the library staff thanking us for our donation of English children books. They gave us handmade cloth pins with the symbol of their library as a token of thanks.
Tsukihama: Before and After the Tsunami Left: An aerial photo taken of Tsukihama before the tsunami hit. Tsukihama was once a thriving resort and fishing village, with a beautiful beachfront location.Right: A photo taken of the beachfront.This roadway used to be filled withhomes and inns, now only a few remain.
Government Prefabricated HousingVillagers from Tsukihama now reside in government prefabricated housing units.These residents have been warned not to rebuild any permanent structures, as theland is expected to shift in the next few years, with the potential to ruin any newbuildings. They expect to remain in temporary housing situations for up to ten years.
When in Tsukihama... We stayed at a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan) and wore yukata. This inn was located in Tsukihama, a small fishing village that was devastated by the tsunami.Above: All of the girls on the trip, dressedin yukata, relax before dinner.Right: Meals were prepared by our femaleinnkeeper. She used as many local productsas possible when preparing the meals,which included seaweed (nori), oysters,shrimp, roe and the infamous Nattō(fermented soybeans).
Students met with local fisherman in their community center
Socializing with local villagers
Volunteers shoveled mud out of flooded drainage pipes along roads
Pipes were filled with debris and sewage
Cleared channels ensured the safe passage of vehicles along roads.
The mud cleared from the drainage system will be used to fertilize destroyed rice fields
Students worked alongside local villagers
In total 200 feet of drainage canals were cleared and restored
Students also worked to clear debris from a shrine in the village
A landslide resulting from the tsunami andearthquake covered a shrine in dirt and debris